Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Questions and Estrogen Don't Mix

Last week, after picking up the 1st One and the Wild Child from school, a heated debate erupted from the back seat. This is not new news. It happens almost daily. The new part was the topic of disagreement.

The Wild Child asked if ducks have tongues. The 1st One insists that they do because she has seen a duck's tongue before. The Wild Child of course is not convinced that her sister is right. Then the "you're stupids" and the "I hate yous" are flying before I can even begin to say, "I don't know if ducks have tongues, but we can look it up as soon as we get home." Fortunately they mellowed until the Wild Child and her inquisitive brain decided to try one more time to start World War 3. In her sweet little voice she asks, "Mom......Are pandas bears?" Once again before I can respond the 1st One is answering with, "Panda-BEAR, Polar-BEAR, they are BEARS!" You know that infuriated the Wild Child and the insults were flying again. I just don't get enough of that, so before my head exploded, I explained we would look that up to when we got home and there was to be no more talking. Finally, two seconds peace.

So if you are wondering......All birds have tongues, even ducks. As for the panda, well, scientists don't seem to be able to agree either. Some say they are more like raccoons and others say they are more like bears. Fortunately, that was acceptable to my girls.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wonder Woman and other Thoughts by Red.

My friend, who I refer to as Red, has been kind enough to write a guest post for me. I love her sense of humor and her ability to enjoy the good with the bad.


How is it that some people seem to have 48 hour days while the rest of us get 24? I recently met a woman who is the author of five books, works as an attorney, is involved in her local city government, has four young adult sons, and if that isn't enough, she's undergoing radiation treatments for breast cancer. Adding to life's challenges is the recent job loss of her husband forcing the necessitation of selling their home. And to top it all off, she's chipper, thoughtful, and positive. If it was me, local donut shops would need to get busy making enough product to satisfy all my stress-diverting, fattening but comforting, circular sweet treat needs.
That sort of woman must have (and deserves) one of those magical Samantha-from-Bewitched noses to accomplish so much. I'm probably better off as a 24-hourer (I know that's not a word). My only potential superhero trait is Super Spelling and I've got a long way to go to get there. When "Lightning-fast Mood Swings" becomes an acceptable superhero power, I'm golden! I should be content as-is; it would be hard to deal with the intense chafing caused by those Wonder Woman gold bracelets-- especially with the price of Neosporin these days.
I'd like to have a mature, spiritual, and professional response to my new Wonder Woman friend having to go through radiation and other difficult challenges... but all I can think is THAT IS SO LAME. I'd say it "sucks" but using that word here in Utah could brand me as a heretic and we're already on thin ice since the overt display of black skeleton lawn flamingos last Halloween. In the past, when our attitudes or behavior were outside the Utah Acceptability Code, we'd just say, "We're Californians," and people would tilt their heads and nod with understanding, but we've lived here for six years now so that doesn't fly anymore.
Breast cancer is such a no-fair disease. No real rhyme or reason to its targets. I was going to say its "victims" but women are too strong for a word like that. I've had quite a bit of it in my family. I was even tested for the BRCA gene after I let my paranoia get the better of me (I don't have it but that isn't a guarantee). I was considering a preventative mastectomy at the time. My aunts, both breast cancer survivors first diagnosed before 50, strongly advised me against it. I thought it might be good to get rid of potentially hazardous tissue-- especially if I could use the empty space more efficiently by having a zipper implanted so I could use them as coin purses. My old stick-in-the-mud doctor said no... what a dream squasher.
As a mom in year five of chronic neck pain from something not my fault (a car accident caused by a guy looking down to roll up his window and smashing into the back of me), I can imagine a little of what it is to be sidelined by health issues. Like Wonder Woman, I was one who didn't like wasting time. In my past on-the-move life, I even taped Ensign articles to my shower door each day so I didn't waste time just standing there washing my hair (cuckoo! cuckoo!). Since the accident, I've adjusted my time/accomplishment ratio to suit my physical limitations.
When I was in pain, I'd say to my Heavenly Father, as nicely as possible, "Do you know how much good I could accomplish if I wasn't in agony every day?!" Alas, He had so much in store for me to learn. I still think I would've been just as good a student if He dropped a "What to Learn from Challenges" book at my feet, but whatever. He's in charge. The old "These experiences make you stronger" bit sounds hollow amidst suffering. I just thought, "Poop! I'm strong enough; any stronger and I'd have freakishly broad man shoulders or be a major no-necker like those weird body builder guys." (Oh, no offense if you know any of those men. I'm sure their personalities are A+.)
I don't at all mean to make light of what must be a head-popping, stressful time of life for WW. I assume from the sweet, hilarious, and great attitude of her messages that she's not usually in the mood for seriousness. I'm just getting into writing what I want again after not having more time or energy for anything other than my work as a correspondent and mother of six so meeting yet another person who gets so much done is a thrill.
WW's willingness to add to her list of responsibilities with community service work amazes me. I hope she's up and at 'em faster than a flash. I know she's added yet another person (me!) in the world who'll be praying for her to bounce back faster than... a speeding bullet? ...hair after a bad perm?... that springy thing at the bottom of a door? ... one of those boxing things on a pole that goes BOING when someone way stronger than me hits it? Well, you get the idea.
It's great to have all sorts of friends; overachievers, underachievers, donut eaters or marathon runners., I like them all. A wide variety of people in one's life keeps things interesting. For those of us stuck with only 24 hours in a day, I say "Hang in there. Just do your best, my healthy-wristed sisters." I try to be a friend to all types because even wonder women need a break sometimes. And when they do, I'll be there to help, Neosporin in hand.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is Flunk a Bad Word?

You know the moments in life you hope desperately to avoid? The 1st One has brought it to my attention that I will have many a minutes like this in my life.

In the 1st One's sweet innocence the other day, she tells me the book she is reading has a bad word in it. Thinking to myself, "What is she reading?" I decide to ask her what the word is. She spells it for me. "F-L-U-N-K." Wow, OK, well. I explain though this word is not a bad word, no one likes to flunk. I lamely try to give her a definition she will understand. She insists that her teacher said that is was a bad word. I think for a minute......"Well, it sort of sounds like a really bad word, but flunk is not a bad word." Her reply, "Oh, (insert F-bomb here) is a bad word!" I finish hyperventilating, knowing that all my children have now logged that word somewhere in their sweet little heads to be used as ammo in the future. I say that yes, she is right. "Sweetheart, that is the worst swear word I know of. So much so, that Mommy has never said it. Please don't ever say that again. OK?" Amazingly enough, she has been very mad at me for the last few days, but has not used that lovely word. I am counting my blessings.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Red's Funny Sarcasm

I have a friend who makes me laugh on a regular basis. I believe that such friends are the stuff that sanity is made of. Even when this friend is having a not so pleasant day, she has a way of making me laugh. The following is an e-mail she sent me, on St. Patrick's Day. I got permission to share it, though she thinks that I will be the only one to think it's funny. You will all have to let me know if it's just my warped sense of humor or if my friend is truly funny.

Here is what you need to know before reading this. Red has six children ranging from 16 to 5 years of age. Alice is the oldest and Holly the youngest. Mike is her husband. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent.....or whatever.....

"Remember all the kind things I said about Alice? Yeah, scratch that! Mike went out to the garage last night and the car door was open. He told me to check everything in my purse. My ATM card was missing. Last night Alice asked if she could go get Boca burgers from the store. I said yes. When I realized my card was gone, I called her and asked if she'd seen it. "No," was her quick reply. She said she'd look through her stuff just in case. Mike called the bank and a $4 purchase had just been made at Leeker's. When Alice got home, I confronted her in the garage. She still said she hadn't seen it. After she could tell I was going to shove my fist through her lying teeth, she pulled my card out of her shirt! I asked her how many times she'd done that before and she said, "I don't know. Maybe once or twice." Ha! What a fricking liar! As Mike reviewed our statements, it turns out she's made quite a few purchases at 7-11, a place I never go, over the last 3 months or more. She's probably stolen hundreds of dollars. All the while, laughing to herself as I defended her as a good person over and over.
I called the police, made sure it wouldn't go on her record, and asked them to come scare the crap out of her. Gotta love the local P.D. He said, "I can do two things: come talk to her while you're there or come put handcuffs on her and talk to her in my patrol car. I prefer the tough way." Yeah, we voted for the latter. He came over, put handcuffs on her as she cried her little whiny-butt tears and took her to his car to talk with her about what a felony is. This was all around 12:30 a.m. Nice!
I hope she got the message. I never get fit-throwing mad, but I sure was last night. I threw a shoe at her. I wanted to beat her senseless with it! I would prefer a kid who was defiant to my face over a sneak and a liar- she knows that. It sucks to be played for a fool. Perfect timing for Mike to leave out of town for the week, too. He was trying to be the good cop (he's usually the butthead- totally hard-nosed with her), joking and stuff. He's lucky he didn't leave this morning having to pass through the metal detector with my shoe up his butt!
Lucky visited our house this morning but he wasn't happy about forcing a celebration to a house of contention. I think our Lucky is in the slammer because his replacement wasn't nearly as festive. He did put an L on all the kids' foreheads. Unfortunately, Alice's stood for liar. If you see flames at our house, don't worry. It's just Alice's pants on fire.
So, that's more than you wanted to know about our day. I'm dropping the kids at school and sleeping for awhile. Holly is dying to watch the new Spongebob--today's her lucky day! I know Alice will be O.K. in the end. She is a good person, but to be honest, I'd rather her be a skank than a liar. It's probably good parents don't get to choose their kids' faults. After seeing what serious trouble they can get into, I'd probably choose the package that includes no sense of humor, Chicklet teeth, a hyena laugh, a peg leg and an affinity for collecting scabs. While those things may put a damper on one's social life, at least they'd be honest. Grrr.. sometimes this parenting gig sucks big time! (Really, I'm not bitter either!)"

Just for the record, Red is an exceptional mother. Alice was not hit by a shoe.....Red's aim is bad. Alice has been making better decisions, Mike made it through airport security, lucky for him and as for Lucky the leprechaun.......well, I guess we will have to see if he shows up next year.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Loving Here

I can't remember if I have ever mentioned that as a family we struggle with traditions of our own. The Rocket Scientist had a very different version of the same holidays than I did growing up. Though, we don't argue about it, we haven't really set many traditions of our own.

One tradition we have managed to set is our Sunday night. We gather as a family and watch Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. Either the Rocket Scientist will make popcorn or I will make something else to snack on and we watch this show. I love this time. The kids will usually cuddle with us on the couch and we get to watch something of value. It is honestly about the only TV I get to see in a week.

Well Sunday night, the Wild Child announces in a very disgruntled voice, "I hate this show. It is just about loving and taking care of people and houses!" The RS and I did a double take and stifled our giggles. I think it actually comes down to she doesn't like to see me cry, but whatever. She got over it and was sitting next to me by the time they were taking down the old house.

After every episode, we talk about what we can do as a family to make this world a better place. The kids have some interesting ideas, but we will save that for another post.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter with some of my favorite's

By Del Parson

Have you ever noticed that most children when shown a picture of Christ know who it is almost every time. Well unless your grandma dates a man with a beard and your great-grandma has a dog that looks like a lamb. When my nephew Michael was little, like four-ish, his mother showed him a picture, similar to the one above. Michael's grandma dates a man named Jim, who has a very neatly trimmed beard. Jim is a very nice and attractive man who is very much family. Michael's great-grandma had a little, fluffy, curly haired dog named Boodrow. When four year old Michael was shown said picture and asked who it was, he replied, "That's Jim and Boodrow."

I know that there are rules about using others work on your blog, so I hope I am following protocol. I have linked all the pictures back to where you can learn more about the artist and/or purchase their work if you feel so inclined. These are some of my favorites and Easter seemed like the appropriate day to share them. I am partial to those that depict Christ with children. They evoke feelings of reverence, love and peace for me. Feeling that are far to absent in the world.

Do you have a favorite? I would love to see it. Send me a link......

Art by Greg Olsen

Art by Greg Olsen

Art by Liz Lemon Swindle

Art by Del Parson

Art by Del Parson

Art by Simon Dewey

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shopping for a Chandelier with the Wild Child

You really have no idea how much fun it is to shop for a new light fixture with the Wild Child. We went to Lowes to replace the chandelier in out kitchen. The old one was plenty nice, just too small for the room.

When we get there, I go over the the oiled bronze, wrought iron and/or brown fixtures since that is what everything else in the house is. The Wild Child tells me she does not like these lights because they look old and broken to her. So I ask her what she does like. She shows me this and others like it:

Though I think this light is gorgeous, it is just not going to work in my kitchen eating space.

There was much debate over three different lights that I liked. I let the Wild Child give her input as to which one she liked and why. This the is the one we chose:

The Wild Child liked it because of the "pineapple." When we get home later that night, I tell the Rocket Scientist that I bought the new light and needed him to install it. Then the Wild Child proceeds to tell her dad, "We bought the one with pineapple on it that looks like a disco ball." Anyone feel like dancing?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lay me off....

Yesterday there were lay-offs in my husbands company. I can't help but think about those families who now are wondering what is next for them. Up until yesterday morning, I feared a lay-off like any other SAHM. Somehow yesterday morning after many sleepless hours because of an unwanted dream, I came to terms with a lay-off. In fact, I wanted it. It would mean a new adventure. A new start. It wasn't us though. I am afraid that it was another family craving the security a job brings. Funny how life is always throwing you curve balls.

My bloggy friend Nancy, who is almost my neighbor as of a few months back, so eloquently said what I am feeling, though, they are her feelings. We must be drinking the same water.